Saturday, December 4, 2021

Learning from The Comfort of Home

Ask the CFP Professional

The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.

~ Sydney J. Harris 

Question: How might the COVID-19 pandemic impact education in the future? 

Answer: One aftereffect of the Coronavirus will likely be an enormous increase in online learning for students of all ages. Most schools did shut down several weeks ago and many have closed for the remainder of the school year. In most instances, students will complete their academic curriculum remotely. 

Several weeks ago, when the school closed for two of our three grandchildren, they decided, with their Dad of course, to visit Papa and Yaya on Marco. I wonder if warmer weather and our pool influenced their decision! Fortunately, they’re great students and enjoy learning. One challenge though is for our son-in-law to organize and synchronize the various apps from different teachers for the coursework. Watching them complete assignments and projects at the dining room table or poolside is quite different than traditional classroom learning. 

The emotional impact includes loss of socialization, losing the ability to play volleyball and baseball. Online interaction does allow for video connections and some interactive games like charades, as well as visits with friends and family across the country. Although not ideal circumstances, we enjoy having them with us and it’s our new normal for now. 

Students tend to be resilient and will likely adapt. As we navigate the unknown terrain of education during the COVID-19 outbreak, greater access to online learning allows retirees to remain engaged and intellectually inspired. For those in the workforce, it’s a convenient way to continue working and expand skillsets.

Gone are the days when education was a one-and-done undertaking. Lifelong learning is essential to staying relevant in our fast-paced global society. For example, the majority of course preparation for the CFP® Professional designation can be completed independently at home, supplemented with classroom time, and finalized with a proctored six-hour exam at a testing center. 

Whether the purpose is purely to enrich knowledge and understanding, or to strengthen talents and skills to advance one’s career, collaborative remote access to educational resources will provide benefits to a growing number of people. 

That’s good news for individuals with a full-time job, anyone not willing to give up precious time, and especially for parents with small children at home. Someone with a long commute and young children does not have extra time for a structured classroom experience. Instead, taking online programs may be much more convenient. 

Whether you’re pursuing an advanced degree or simply want to learn something new, there a good chance that there’s an online class for you. Would you like to be a better negotiator? Looking to enhance leadership skills? Learn to code, design a website or perfect public speaking skills? Discover new cooking skills, perform home repairs, or a find new workout routine? All this and more can be accomplished with online learning. The biggest challenge may be how to prioritize and sort through all the options. 

Several popular options are Coursera, LinkedIn Learning, Khan Academy, EdX, HP Life, Udey, Udacity, Code Cademy, and Small Business Administration. Although there is built-in flexibility and typically a lower price tag, be aware that online learning isn’t for everyone. Some people prefer or even need the face-to-face interaction and relationship-building that comes with traditional, in-person methods. One stumbling block could be the extreme amount of self-discipline necessary to master new coursework. Online learning isn’t a place for procrastinators; instead, superior time management and organizational skills are essential when balancing learning with other responsibilities. 

Time is arguably our most precious commodity. When trading time for knowledge, it may be advantageous to research a teacher’s credentials and examine course content to find appropriate courses to match your goals and objectives. This could help ensure that you’re getting the quality content and instruction you expect. Not all online classes are free; weigh the cost/benefit relationship before making commitments. 

Virtual learning is here to stay. Growing technological advancements in the areas of connectivity, augmented reality (AR), and virtual reality (VR) will take us to places we cannot yet imagine. Live animation is changing how presentations and interactive learning are delivered. Collaborative AR and VR aren’t limited to a specific age group. The world of education is changing with technology. Stay healthy and keep learning. 

This material is being provided for informational purposes only and has been obtained from sources considered reliable, but we do not guarantee that the material presented is accurate or that it provides a complete description of the securities, markets or developments mentioned. Any information should not be deemed a recommendation to buy, hold, or sell any security. There is no assurance any of the trends mentioned will continue or that any of the forecasts mentioned will occur. Economic and market conditions are subject to change. Investing involves risk including the possible loss of capital. Past performance may not be indicative of future results. The opinions expressed are those of the writer as of March 30, 2020, but not necessarily those of Raymond James and Associates, and are subject to change at any time based on market conditions and other factors. “Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board’s initial and ongoing certification requirements.” This article provided by Darcie Guerin, CFP®, Vice President, Investments & Branch Manager of Raymond James & Associates, Inc. Member New York Stock Exchange/SIPC 606 Bald Eagle Dr. Suite 401, Marco Island, FL 34145. She may be reached at 239-389-1041, email Website:

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